Hamilton grad killed by insurgents in Iraq

Sgt. David J. Luff Jr. was providing security to military leaders when his unit was attacked.

HAMILTON — A soldier from Hamilton has been killed in Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Sgt. David J. Luff Jr., 29, died Sunday in Tikrit from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire, Army officials said Monday. 

Luff was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The 1999 Hamilton High School graduate was the son of Lucy and David Luff.

“He was a really good guy,” said his sister Stacy Garrison, as she fought back tears.

Garrison, the eldest of the four Luff siblings, said her parents were on a plane Monday evening traveling to help make arrangements.

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It was Luff’s second tour of duty in Iraq, Garrison said. He was home in May when his wife, Katie Halcomb Luff, gave birth to their first child, a son named Aidan. The couple married in 2008, she said.

“He was with him about a month before he was deployed,” Garrison said.

Her brother was a Cincinnati Bengals football fan and loved his family, Garrison said.

Luff is the fifth soldier from Hamilton to die since the U.S. fighting began in Iraq.

Maj. David Eastburn, a spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division, said Luff was part of the crew on a Stryker armored vehicle who was killed while providing security for military leaders meeting with Iraqi community leaders.

Luff had moved to Hawaii in 2009 after completing basic and advanced individual training at Fort Knox, Ky., and a first assignment in Fort Lewis, Wash., Eastburn said.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Staff Writer Tiffany Y. Latta contributed to this report.

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